PM gives guideline to fix labour shortage in fishing

PM gives guideline to fix labour shortage in fishing

About 500 fishermen gather in Songkhla on Aug 2, 2018 to call on the government to solve problems brought about by some fishing regulations and voice opposition to the International Labour Organisation-sponsored Work in Fishing Convention, known as C188, which they say will only worsen the situation. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)
About 500 fishermen gather in Songkhla on Aug 2, 2018 to call on the government to solve problems brought about by some fishing regulations and voice opposition to the International Labour Organisation-sponsored Work in Fishing Convention, known as C188, which they say will only worsen the situation. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has given a guideline for authorities to address the labour shortage in the fishery sector, government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Sunday.

Lt Gen Sansern said that, according to Gen Prayut, the problem must be tackled urgently since Thailand is one of the world's leaders in the fishing industry, making a huge yearly income from it.

Since Thailand currently needs about 53,000 workers in the fishery sector, it has to rely on a workforce from neighbouring countries because Thai people are not keen on taking the jobs, he said.

The spokesman said Gen Prayut gives three options in his guideline. The first option is for Thailand to extend the work permits for migrant workers already in the fishery sector; the second is for the country to import more workers from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos; and the third is for the country to allow migrant workers in other fields who are already in the country to apply for work in the fishing industry.

In the first option, Thailand already has 11,000 migrant workers in the fishery sector whose work permits are due to expire on Sept 30, and their work permits can be extended for another two years until Sept 30, 2020. Their employers can take them to report to one-stop-service centres in 22 coastal provinces for the extension by Sept 30.

In the second option, Myanmar has already agreed to supply about 40,000 workers by the end of November. They can go through the registration and employment process at the one-stop-service centre in Ranong. An agreement has yet to be reached with Cambodia and Laos.

In the third option, workers in other sectors with full passports, temporary passports, letters of certification and other travel documents which are still valid can apply to work in the fishery sector for one year. Details of this will be announced later.

Lt Gen Sansern said the prime minister has instructed the Labour Ministry to urge employers and fishing business operators to expedite taking their workers, especially those in the first category, to report to the one-stop-service centres.


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